8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 8, 2010 11:00 PM by Matthew Carter3
Matthew Carter3 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi

I have a new-ish Airport Extreme, plus three Airport Express units mainly used for streaming music to various rooms in my house. The house is quite large, though, and wireless reception furthest away from the Extreme is poor, even though there's an Express in the same room. Would things improve if I installed another Extreme in this room in place of the Express... in other words, I'd have two Extremes at either end of the house with two or three Express units in between?

Thanks for your help.

G5 iMac 1.8GHz; MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz i7, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,775 points)
    Welcome to the discussion area, Matthew!

    +I have a new-ish Airport Extreme, plus three Airport Express units mainly used for streaming music to various rooms in my house+

    If your AirPort Express devices are set up to "join" the wireless network, they are not providing any additional wireless coverage, which they are capable of doing.

    Can you confirm how you have the AirPort Express devices configured at the present time?
  • Matthew Carter3 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Bob

    Thanks for the response. To be honest I'm not sure how they are configured, though they are probably just set up to join the network. Can you let me know how to configure them to extend the network. Is there are an Apple manual I can download?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Matthew
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,775 points)
    In order to "extend", we need to make sure that all of your devices are newer "n" capable devices. If you have the "square" AirPort Extreme, it's an "n" device.

    If you are not sure about the AirPort Express devices, open AirPort Utility, click on an Express on the left and look to the right for information. If you have the "n" version, there will be a statement that reads as follows:

    +AirPort Utility has found an AirPort Express with 802.11n+

    Another way to check is look for the Model Number in the fine print on the side of the device.

    Post back with your findings.
  • Matthew Carter3 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Brilliant. I'll have to do this later as I'm at work at the moment. Many thanks again.
  • Matthew Carter3 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Right then, back home! The Extreme and the three Express units are all 'N' capable.
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,775 points)
    OK, thanks. You can make use of Apple's "extend a wireless network" feature. You may not need to "extend" all of the AirPort Express devices, so do one of the AirPort Express devices and move your laptop around to see if that will provide the coverage you need.

    The feature works like the hub and spokes of a wheel. The AirPort Extreme is the "hub" and each Express is at the end of a spoke. The Express devices communicate only to the "hub", not to another AirPort Express. So, in an ideal situation, your Airport Extreme would be located at a central point within the home.

    Here's how to configure the AirPort Extreme (AEBS):

    Temporarily, connect an ethernet cable from your Mac to one of the LAN <-> ports on the AEBS.
    Open AirPort Utility - click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab below the icons
    Make sure that you have a check mark next to "Allow this network to be extended"
    Update to save settings
    You can disconnect the ethernet cable now

    Each AirPort Express is configured exactly the same way as the others, so try one first to see if that provides enough coverage. Then try the second, etc. if you need more coverage.

    Temporarily, locate the AirPort Express (AX) near your computer and connect an ethernet cable from your computer to the AX

    Open AirPort Utility - Click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab
    Wireless Mode = Extend a wireless network. If you don't see this choice, hold down the option key on your Mac while you click on the selection box
    Wireless Network Name = Your AEBS Network Name
    Check mark next to Allow wireless clients
    Wireless Network Security = Same as your AEBS
    Wireless Password = Same as your AEBS
    Confirm Password

    Update to save settings. Once the AX has restarted in 20-25 seconds, you can disconnect the ethernet signal and move the AX back to the location where it's needed.

    Reference pages 43-44 in the Apple AirPort Networks Guide for essentially the same information.

    AirTunes will still be active and the ethernet port on the AX is active as well if you need to connect a device using ethernet.

    Please post back on your progress.

    Message was edited by: Bob Timmons
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (86,775 points)
    Once you have one Airport Express setup to extend, and if you want your other Airport Express devices to pickup a signal from the AirPort Express that is setup to extend, you have to unplug them from power and then restart them.

    Once you have everything set, it would be a good idea to restart everything. Modem first, then the AirPort Extreme, then each AirPort Express, then your computers.
  • Matthew Carter3 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Perfect. It works! any thanks.